Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Book Review: Massacre of the Mermaids by Alessandro Manzetti
From the Bram Stoker Awards® nominee Alessandro Manzetti comes a new horror, weird, gory, and dystopian short story collection. “The Massacre of the Mermaids” includes six visionary and disturbing stories set in the future and the past: the apocalyptic and bloody Rome dominated by the first She-Pope who organizes shocking exhibitions in the new Coliseum; the bloody and cannibalistic Jerusalem during the First Crusade with gangs of rapists, criminals, and anthropophagy addicts; the future ultra-violent district Paris Sud 5 with a human landfill; the Nakara, a slaughterhouse-prison dug into the bowels of the moon, the first organized human breeding in history, managed by the diabolic Slicer; and the subterranean rooms of Mictlan, the Aztec hell that destroys Spanish victims, sacrificing them through unthinkable and brutal rites. “The Massacre of the Mermaids” will leave you breathless. The limit has never been so violated.
The cover is certainly eye catching and envokes a sense of curiousity as to what it represents. Which is a good thing, considering that Massacre of the Mermaids represents a world and future which is far different from our own.
There are seven stories in Massacre of the Mermaids with the first one being the centerpiece of an interesting future. One might think this series could be fantasy-based since there are Mermaids involved, but without giving too much away, this is likely far different than what the reader will have in mind and women are actually turned into Mermaids in a very grotesque fashion. The other stories, for the most part, also represent some innovating ideas of what our future could be. My second favorite story had to be Der Buter, which has some uncomfortable ideas of what happens in the futuristic equivalent of a funeral home.
A note for the more sensitive readers-your enjoyment of this series may depend on your overall comfort level with graphic content, as Massacre of the Mermaids has plenty of that. There are also not many happy endings in this series, but then again, Massacre of the Mermaids is focused on painting an unfair futuristic society, one where there seems to be few heroes left. This works in some ways, but I found the last couple of stories to be a little disjointed as a result. It would have been nice to have some expansion of the characters instead of having a 'snapshot' of a particular event, as I think the stories could have worked better if they were fleshed out.
FINAL GRADE: 5 out of 5-overall, a great deal of talent and ideas are packed into 43 pages. Definitely an ejoyable read.
Massacre of the Mermaids can be found here